making local government more ethical

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  1. How and Why to Bring Budget Transparency to a City Near You

    It's a nice coincidence that, just when I was preparing to write a blog post about a trendy thing in the corporate world ... 16,000 people (over a period of 21 years), according to an article in the Chicago Tribune . Open-book management is, ... the public from seeing through the numbers by seeing how money is actually being spent), access to ongoing budget and spending ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2018-12-19 17:18 - 0 comments

  2. How Entitled Should Voter Registration Employees Feel?

    People use sunshine laws to retaliate against political opponents (it’s easy to find technical violations and use them to show an opponent is not being open; and you don’t even have to find them: ... who had written nothing bad about the employee? Here’s how he defended his actions: “It wouldn’t have happened if you [the ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2018-12-19 17:18 - 1 comment

  3. How Not To Accomplish Ethics Reform

    ... book . Copying a Local Town's Code According to an article in yesterday's Houston Chronicle , the town of Pearland, ... least requiring them to be disclosed, in order to determine how frequent and large they are. This sort of piecemeal approach to ethics ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2018-12-19 17:18 - 0 comments

  4. How to Handle Misrepresentations of Ethics Advice

    ... can say nothing but "No comment." This allows the official to say whatever he likes. This situation was answered skillfully by the ... Commission’s General Counsel orally provided advice on how the conflict of interest law applied to Senator Wolf. That advice was ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2018-12-19 17:18 - 0 comments

  5. Rep. Charles Rangel and How to Be Above the Past, Appearances of Impropriety, and Annoying Things Like That

    ... about his use of congressional stationery to solicit contributions for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service ... of this blog entry. More annoying even than talk of an appearance of impropriety is talk about responsibility for past conduct.  ... and chutzpah. Click here for an article about how others in the same development fare.) The appearance of impropriety ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2018-12-19 17:18 - 0 comments

  6. City-Funded Redevelopment by Nearby Property Owners -- And How Not to Write Ethics Law

    An article in today's Modesto Bee provides an excellent example of problems ... And yet these council members were, according to this article, voting about properties within 500 feet of property they owned. Click here to read the rest of this blog entry. City staff misinterpreted legal ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2018-12-19 17:18 - 0 comments

  7. How False Rumors Can Undermine a City's Ethical Environment

    ... of government ethics, and you were asked what, on a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis, was the most frequent form of unethical ... But their ability to use rumor as a principal weapon shows how important this minor form of unethical behavior is. No one can pass a law ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2007-07-04 16:07 - 0 comments

  8. The Supreme Court Is to Consider How Honest Services Fraud Jives with Ethics Laws

    ... is actually part of a definition of "scheme or artifice to defraud" in the federal mail and wire fraud statute (before reading ... question surrounding honest services fraud. Considering how unusual it is for the Court to take an interlocutory appeal like this, it ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2018-12-19 17:18 - 0 comments

  9. How to Paint Yourself into a Corner By Not Responsibly Handling Your Conflict Right Up Front

    ... the mayor brought his father, who runs a refuse business, to meet with a county official about a county solid waste assessment. A council ... When you don't, you have only yourself to blame, no matter how much those who bring the conflict to light may be out for blood. Robert ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2018-12-19 17:18 - 0 comments

  10. Local Ethics Reform in Massachusetts

    ... reform efforts at the local level. Most recently, according to an article last week in the Boston Globe , the new Boston mayor has ... accountability and equal access to government. I don't see how. To the extent only disclosure is required, very few voters will be aware ...

    Robert Wechsler - 2018-12-19 17:18 - 0 comments